Dec 8, 2022

About Pearl Harbor

     That's my Father with my sister, shortly before Dad left for WWII service, not long after the attack on Pearl Harbor prompted him and a lot of others to join the service to fight against Germany and Japan.

He was a radio operator in the U.S. Army Air Corps, the predecessor of The U.S. Air Force.

 

Dec 7, 2022

Gen. Grant Promotion

 


Gen. Ulysses S. Grant’s pending promotion sheds new light on his overlooked fight for equal rights after the Civil War

Tucked away in an amendment to the FY2023 U.S. defense authorization bill is a rare instance of congressional bipartisanship and a tribute to U.S. President Ulysses S. Grant.

If approved, the measure would posthumously promote Grant to the rank of General of the Armies of the U.S., making him only the third person – along with John J. Pershing and George Washington – to be awarded the nation’s highest military honor.

 

FULL STORY is HERE

Smithsonian tells the story of The Monument that still stands.

 

(From a Smithsonian article)
"At the age of 78, a frail Jefferson Davis journeyed back to Montgomery, Alabama, where he had first been sworn in as president of the Confederacy a quarter-century earlier. There, greeted by an “ovation…said never to have been equaled or eclipsed in that city,” the once-unpopular Davis helped lay the cornerstone for a monument to the Confederate dead. Despite failing health, he then embarked on a final speaking tour in the spring of 1886 to Atlanta and on to Savannah—ironically retracing General Sherman’s march through Georgia, which had crushed and humiliated the South and brought the Civil War closer to an end."

“Is it a lost cause now?” Davis defiantly thundered to the adoring, all-white crowds who set off fireworks and artillery salutes in his honor.

 

 

 

 

 

He provided his own answer, shouting: “Never.” 

Alabama's Health Rank for 2022


 The Lowest five states:

45. Oklahoma

46. Alabama

47. West Virginia

48. Arkansas

49. Mississippi 

50. Louisiana

 

The Top Five states:

1. New Hampshire 

2. Massachusetts 

3. Vermont

4. Connecticut (tied with...)

4. Hawaii

See how the ratings were created, and where the other states rank,

HERE.



Dec 6, 2022

Coal Being Eclipsed by Renewable Energy Sources


    The coal industry claims coal has a $3-Billion impact on the Alabama economy.

     Yet The New York Times reports renewable energy sources are about to pass coal as a source of electrical power.....and soon!

 

 

 

"Renewables are poised to overtake coal as the largest source of electricity generation by early 2025, the report found, a pattern driven in large part by the global energy crisis linked to the war in Ukraine."


 

Blackhawk(s) Down for good.

      The Army has decided to use  Textron--a subsidiary Bell Helicopter--- for a new long-range assault helicopter—the Bell V-280 Valor—that will replace the service’s 40-plus-year-old UH-60 Black Hawk.

This is of more than passing interest to this part of Alabama. The base at Fort Rucker* has the largest Army helicopter facility in the country. And this is the chopper they may soon be teaching pilots to fly and mechanics to fix:

*Rucker will soon undergo a name change, eliminating the confederate-connected "Rucker" name.

 

Alabama's Capitol Building 175th Anniversary

      Today is the 175th anniversary of the day the first capitol building in Montgomery was handed over to the state...on 12/6/1847.


Alabama_Capitol_original_plan (1)


The completed building was presented to the state at the beginning of the legislature’s first-ever biennial session.

But it didn't last long. The building was destroyed by fire two years later  (on 12-14-1849. The Alabama Pioneers site online provides details about the cause:

 

“The committee on the State Capitol, to whom was referred the resolution instructing them to inquire into the cause of the fire, which caused the destruction of the State Capitol, instruct me to report that they have made examination and inquiries on the subject, and are of the opinion that the fire was communicated from the flue or chimney to a timber, the end of which had been inserted in, and rested on an eyelet hole, left for that purpose in the wall of the Representative Hall. Your committee have been unable to hear of any person having been injured by the fire, and have heard of no one missing.


 

The replacement building, still very much standing, was built two years later on the same foundation as the one that burned.


Dec 4, 2022

Channel WXXX in Georgia? PLEASE do this?

 The run-off election next week for U.S. Senate in Georgia is between Democratic candidate Raphael Warnock and Republican Herschel Walker.

Your Assignment:

1) Read this column in the N.Y. Times by Charles Blow. It is headlined:

Herschel Walker, Butcher of Language

2) Find a half-dozen or so K-12 English teachers who support Walker, have them read the column, and ask their thoughts. Are they willing to ignore Walker's inability to speak the language and vote for him to represent Georgia in The U.S. Senate?

3) write the story. 

Religion (NOT).

From a story in The Salt Lake Tribune
 

As many as a third of Americans now claim no religious affiliation, and British sociologist Stephen Bullivant has some ideas about why.

In his new book, “Nonverts: The Making of Ex-Christian America,” due this week from Oxford University Press, Bullivant reflects in often highly entertaining fashion about the trend lines. Although it’s full of statistics, “Nonverts” remains a lively read for ordinary people — a rare feat in a sea of dry data-driven books.

As a researcher, Bullivant wanted to know why Americans, once considered the exception to the secularization that has happened in Europe and elsewhere, are suddenly losing their religion.

And it is sudden, he notes. “This kind of religious change in a society doesn’t normally happen in the space of 20 or 30 years,” he told Religion News Service in a Zoom interview. “It’s been within the space of one or perhaps two generations that we’ve seen a sudden surge.”


Read the full story HERE.

That "Man overboard" from the cruise ship for 20 hours? He's from Alabama.

 ABC has the exclusive interview: HERE.

PHOTO: James Michael Grimes during an appearance on Good Morning America, Dec. 2, 2022.


 

 

Dec 3, 2022

Santa & Some Confederate Imagery in Knoxville

 From the www.KnoxNews.com website:

🎄

"Every year at the Christmas parade in downtown Knoxville, there's one float that chills the holiday cheer: the Sons of Confederate Veterans.

The group calls itself a heritage organization that honors the men who fought for the South during the Civil War. But to countless others – including Black Americans and those with knowledge of East Tennessee's deep support for the Union during the war − the group is viewed as supporting white supremacy and distorting our nation's history.

The parade's guidelines for participants are clear: "No overtly political message are permitted in the parade."

   
Confederate Battle Flag before removal in Montgomery.

 

Read the full Tennessee story HERE.

Before & After The Tornado

 The Flatwood Community Center...before the tornado:

(photo via google maps)


...and after (photos via AL.COM story. ((Mike Cason/mcason@al.com)



Dec 2, 2022

Montgomery Man Sentenced for sex crimes

 

From the U.S. Department of Justice:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, December 2, 2022 
Defendant Sentenced to 60 Years and Ordered to Pay Over $950,000 in Restitution for Sex Trafficking Scheme Involving Forced Prostitution

U.S. District Court Judge R. Austin Huffaker Jr. of the Middle District of Alabama sentenced defendant Lonnie Mitchell, 36, of Montgomery, Alabama, to 60 years in prison for coercing several victims, including a minor, to engage in prostitution over the course of several years. The judge also ordered the defendant to pay over $950,000 in restitution to the victims. 

In June 2022, following a five-day trial, a jury convicted the defendant of sex trafficking five victims by force, fraud and coercion. The jury also found the defendant guilty of sex trafficking a minor, and three counts of coercing and enticing an individual to travel in interstate commerce for prostitution purposes.

“The defendant used unspeakable violence and manipulation of the victims’ substance abuse problems to control their every move and exploit them for his own financial gain,” said Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division. “Human trafficking is an atrocious crime that targets some of the most vulnerable members of our society, cruelly robbing them of their dignity and freedom. The Department of Justice remains committed to prioritizing human trafficking prosecutions and vindicating the rights of the victims of these heinous crimes.”

“Today’s sentence reflects the defendant’s horrific treatment and abuse of his victims,” said U.S. Attorney Sandra J. Stewart for the Middle District of Alabama. “Although their physical injuries will heal, the emotional damage caused by their suffering will last a lifetime. I am thankful for all of the agencies that worked together on this case, and for the courageous victims that testified at his trial. I hope this sentence will provide at least some consolation to the victims knowing that the defendant has been held accountable for his crimes.”

“Mr. Mitchell’s crimes were particularly atrocious, which was reflected in the severity of his sentencing,” said DHS Homeland Security Investigations (DHS-HIS) Atlanta Special Agent in Charge Katrina Berger. “We hope this outcome will contribute to the victims’ healing process, but also serve as a warning to others who would victimize others for their own financial gain. HSI special agents and our law enforcement partners will continue to protect our communities from illegal trafficking and narcotics activity.”

According to the evidence presented in court, defendant Lonnie Mitchell targeted vulnerable victims who struggled with substance abuse issues, and then manipulated their substance abuse problems for his benefit. He increased the victims’ use of heroin and encouraged them to use it intravenously. He then withheld heroin from the victims, causing extremely painful withdrawal sickness, if they violated one of his many controlling rules or otherwise did not provide services to enough commercial sex clients. Mitchell also used violence, threats of violence and threats to send embarrassing information, photos or videos to the victims’ loved ones in order to coerce compliance with his rules and to ensure that the victims provided him with sufficient money from prostitution. In addition, defendant Mitchell regulated how much and when the victims could eat, and confiscated their identity documents and credit cards as part of his coercive scheme to control them. 

Two co-defendants, Nettisia Mitchell and Donna Emmons, previously pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit sex trafficking. Nettisia Mitchell is the sister of defendant Lonnie Mitchell, and the court previously sentenced her to 120 months confinement and ordered her to pay $2,000 in restitution for her role in her brother’s coercive scheme. Specifically, Nettisia witnessed her brother’s violence against a victim, yet harbored the victim and received the proceeds from the victim’s involvement in commercial sex. The court previously sentenced Emmons to 151 months confinement and ordered her to pay $3,500 in restitution.    

Assistant Attorney General Clarke, U.S. Attorney Stewart and HSI Special Agent in Charge Berger made the announcement.

DHS-HSI, Alabama Law Enforcement Agency, Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office and Montgomery Police Department investigated the case.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys J. Patrick Lamb and MaryLou Bowdre for the Middle District of Alabama and Trial Attorney Kate Alexander of the Civil Rights Division’s Human Trafficking Prosecution Unit prosecuted the case.

Anyone who has information about human trafficking should report that information to the National Human Trafficking Hotline toll-free at 1-888-373-7888, which is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. For more information about human trafficking, please visit www.humantraffickinghotline.org.

 

N.Y. Times How Ft. Rucker became For Rucker


 From an article about how defeated confederate officer's names were attached to bases, now that their names are about to be changed.

Army historians describe Edmund W. Rucker as “an obscure Confederate cavalry officer from Tennessee.” He enlisted in the Confederate army as a private in 1861 and was given the rank of acting brigadier general by the time of his surrender on May 9, 1865.

With his engineering experience, Rucker was promoted quickly and helped build and man Confederate forts along the Mississippi River, according to the author Michael P. Rucker, his distant relative. Rucker also helped enforce martial law during the occupation of eastern Tennessee.

He later joined Nathan Bedford Forrest’s cavalry force as a brigade commander, fought at the Battle of Brices Cross Roads that resulted in a decisive Confederate victory, and lost his left arm from an injury at the disastrous Confederate defeat at the Battle of Nashville — where he was captured by Union soldiers. After the war, Rucker became a railroad industrialist. He died in 1924, more than 60 years after he joined the Confederacy.

The naming of Fort Rucker appears to have been an unlikely quirk of history. There was significant debate over the naming of the base in 1942, and several more prominent candidates were rejected. But after some prodding from Senator Lister Hill, Democrat from Alabama, General George C. Marshall, the chief of staff of the Army, selected Rucker over the objections of other officers."

A black-and-white photo portrait of George E. Pickett in a military uniform.
Credit...PhotoQuest

Dec 1, 2022

Beach Property Owners Beware


 

"by 2050, sea levels along the coastlines of the contiguous U.S. could rise as much as 12 inches (30 centimeters) above current waterlines, the research team said in a statement (opens in new tab). The Gulf Coast and Southeast are expected to be most severely impacted, and will likely experience increased storm and tidal flooding in the near future, according to the study, published Oct. 6 in the journal Communications Earth & Environment" (opens in new tab).

Will it SNOW in Alabama This Winter?

 

NOT likely, but The Press of Atlantic City places Alabama in the battleground between a sure snow and none at all.


(From The Press of Atlantic City)



175 years ago: Medical Association of Alabama founded


 

MASA (An unfortunate acronym/name in Alabama, no?) grew out of a December 1847 meeting of Alabama physicians aimed at addressing concerns about a state medical licensure law passed in 1823. Alabama's licensing standards were very lax, and many physicians were concerned about the level of skill possessed by some licensed doctors in the state. In December 1846 members of the Alabama Medical Society (AMS), a local Selma organization, met and decided to call a statewide meeting of doctors. AMS secretary Dr. Albert Gallatin Mabry sent a letter to the president of the Mobile Medical Society to determine its members' interest in such a meeting. Mabry called for the creation of a state medical society, modeled on those in Mississippi and Virginia, that could develop and enforce a code of ethics and work to improve medical education in the state. He also stressed the need for mental health facilities, which were virtually nonexistent in Alabama at the time. In response, 21 physicians met on December 1, 1847, at the Waverly House in Mobile

 This original incarnation of MASA met first in Selma in 1848 and in other cities in subsequent years. Membership never topped 150, and bad business decisions led to its bankruptcy in 1855. The organization remained inactive until 1868, when a group of physicians met in Selma to restructure it. By 1893, its initial membership of 20 had increased to more than 1,000.


 The Association installed a statue of Dr. Marion Sims on the capitol grounds, on the right side of the front steps, in 1938. The statue later became the site of protests because Sims operated on enslaved women without anesthesia, believing they did not feel pain as white women did.

A similar statue of Sims was installed in the 1890's in New York City, but was taken down in 2018.











Another Layoff Day at Gannett


 

The Montgomery Advertiser is owned by Gannett.

https://www.poynter.org/business-work/2022/gannett-tells-its-news-division-that-more-layoffs-are-coming-dec-1/

Nov 30, 2022

Alabama Ranks Low for Jobs

 Alabama brags about job statistics....but at least one source ranks the state 42nd!

 


A new analysis finds states on opposite coasts most attractive for employment, while states in the South lag. 

The 2022 ranking of the 50 states comes from Wallethub, which looked at two key dimensions: job market (60 points) and economic environment (40 points). The dimensions were evaluated using 35 metrics, including employment growth, worker protection scores, share of workers living in poverty, average length of work week in hours, average commute time and median annual income. 

Below are the top 15 states and bottom 15 states. The complete ranking and scoring can be found here

The best 

1. Washington: 69.65
2. Vermont: 69.46
3. New Hampshire: 66.27
4. Colorado: 65.38
5. Minnesota: 64.78
6. Rhode Island: 64.52
7. Massachusetts: 63.75
8. Virginia: 62.84
9. Connecticut: 62
10. New Jersey: 61.56
11. California: 60.90
12. South Dakota: 59.83
13. Utah: 59.71
14. Florida: 59.35
15. Illinois: 57.91

The worst 

36. New Mexico: 49.56
37. Indiana: 49.49
38. Wyoming: 49.36
39. Montana: 49.29
40. Georgia: 47.97
41. Ohio: 47.77
42. Alabama: 46.05
43. South Carolina: 46 
44. Pennsylvania: 45.45
45. Oklahoma: 44.96
46. Arkansas: 42.99
47. Louisiana: 42.59
48. Mississippi: 39.64
49. Kentucky: 37.79
50. West Virginia: 35.45

Democratic teens vs Republican teens

From the most recent PEW report on teens and social media.

Read the Complete Report HERE.

Few teens engaged in online activism in past year; Democratic teens are more likely to have done so than Republicans

UPDATE: ABC 33/40 reports she has been found. (Missing Montgomery Woman)

 What an awful night for missing persons.....

The Montgomery Police Department is asking for the public's assistance in locating missing woman 72-year-old Classie Jones (Montgomery Police Department)

The Montgomery Police Department is asking for the public's assistance in locating missing person Classie Jones.

Jones is a 72-year-old Black female with black hair and brown eyes and may be living with a condition that may impair her judgement.

Authorities said she was last seen on November 29, 2022 around 4:30pm wearing a brown jacket with black pants and black shoes, in the area of Eton Road in Montgomery, Alabama.

She is described as 5'11" in height and weighs around 150 pounds. She has black hair and brown eyes.

If anyone has any information regarding the whereabouts of Classie Jones, please contact the Montgomery Police Department at (334) 625-3844 or call 911.

Nov 28, 2022

Splash NOT

Which one of these urinal designs virtually eliminates splashes in the men's room?

Can you spot the urinal design with the optimal splash-reducing angle? It's the one second from right.

The story with the answer...is HERE.

Killings


 

 Two Alabama cities are included in a Washington Post story about U.S. cities with steep increases in homicide rates. 

Montgomery is not one of them, though the Capital City has frequently had high murder rates.

"The deadly spike coincided with the onset of the coronavirus pandemic: The rate of killings rose nearly 30 percent in 2020 and remained high through the following year, according to a Washington Post database created to track the toll. Even now, as the bloodshed has slowed, the homicide rate outpaces pre-pandemic levels."

FULL STORY is HERE.

They're gone, the blooms too.

See more of my  photography HERE.